Profile: Comics, Action, Comedy
After Action Report:
Nextwave is a great comic. It’s not deep. It doesn’t challenge your expectations. It doesn’t change the paradigm for what a comic book is supposed to be, but it’s still a good comic. It’s also somewhat hard to access. Nextwave is a parody/satire written for and by a certain cross-section of the geek population who enjoy a broad spectrum of geeky entertainment. In the first issue alone, Nextwave references: Japanese monster movies, 90s television, pretty much every major team-up comic series ever, and itself for good measure. All of this means that if you aren’t conversant in these genres some of the comedy of Nextwave might go right over your head. There is still a fair amount of generally accessible comic moments in the vein of slap-stick, crude language and the funny scenario. And we are fortunate enough to live in a world where S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers and comics in general have become common conversation topics.
For all of its almost reverential nods to the geek community, Nextwave is definitely making fun of the comic book establishment. Author Warren Ellis is well known for his distaste for the directions that mainstream comics have been moving since the late 80s. Here, that distain is transmuted into irreverent comedy that still manages to twist the knife every so often, particularly if you’re more up-to-speed on the state of Marvel Comics circa 2006. I am not, so I had to get most of this stuff off of TVTropes but that research really enhanced a re-reading of the book.
Profile: Comic Fantasy, Absurdist Fiction, Satire
Summary: From the Divine Comedies omnibus edition, “Here Comes the Sun: The sun rises late, dirty and so badly in need of a service it’s a wonder it gets up at all. The moon’s going to be scrapped soon and a new one commissioned – but they’ve been saying that for years. All is not well with the universe… and it’s because the mortals [aren’t] running the show. It’s time for a Higher Power to take charge.
Odds and Gods: It’s a god’s life at the Sunnyvoyde Residential home for retired deities. Everlasting life can be a read drag when all you’ve got to look forward to is cauliflower cheese on Wednesdays. But things are about to change, because those almighty duffers Thor, Odin and Frey have restored a thousand-year-old traction engine, and the thing actually works!”